by Staff Correspondent, Dhaka;
Bangladesh has briefed the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka over a tensed situation created on its south-eastern border by the Myanmar military by firing mortar shells that landed repeatedly into Bangladesh territory.
One of the top Bangladeshi diplomats told news media on Tuesday that the foreign envoys appreciated Dhaka’s role for patiently handling the situation instead of stepping into Myanmar’s provocation.
Dhaka is learnt to have been contemplating to raise the issue with Myanmar at the United Nations as the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is travelling to the United States to join the 77th United Nations General Assembly that began in New York last week.
The Prime Minister is expected to address the general assembly on Friday.
The foreign diplomats have assured that their respective counties will support Bangladesh at the UN, said Acting Foreign Secretary Khurshed Alam.
Alam briefed the diplomats at the State Guest House Padma after Myanmar military fired gunshots and mortar shells, during their months of fighting with local insurgent groups, which landed in Bangladeshi territory.
In previous occasions, Bangladesh has protested those incidents of border violation through diplomatic channels.
During Monday’s brief, Dhaka asked the foreign diplomats to take actions so that the falling of mortar shells and bullets from Myanmar side does not happen anymore.
“We told them that Myanmar should not be allowed to destabilise the whole region and create obstacles for Rohingya repatriation,” Alam said.
Bangladesh will not fall prey to Myanmar’s provocation, he added.
The ongoing conflicts between Myanmar military and Arakan Army have been creating panic in the Bangladesh side of the border while a Rohingya man was killed and five others injured as mortar shells landed on the no-man’s land on last Friday.
Besides, on the same day, a Bangladeshi youth name Anganthowai Tanchangya was grievously injured in a landmine explosion along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in Naikhongchhari of Bandarban district.
The acting foreign secretary said the diplomats were urged to take actions so that the Myanmar’s internal conflicts do not create any pressure on the Bangladeshis.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who fled brutal persecution in Myanmar for years. Of them, nearly 750,000 crossed the border after the Myanmar military launched a crackdown on the ethnic groups in August 2017.
Bangladesh has now tightened vigilance on the border to prevent further influx of Myanmar citizens into its territory.
Alam said Myanmar side always makes common claims that the mortar shells those were landed in Bangladesh launched by Myanmar’s internal rebel groups- Arakan Army and ARSA.
Earlier on Monday, the acting foreign secretary made a similar briefing to the Heads of Mission from the ASEAN countries in Dhaka to apprise them of the prevailing situation along Bangladesh and Myanmar border.
On Sunday, the government put the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Bangladesh Coast Guard on high alerts with reinforcement if required on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
The same day, the foreign ministry summoned Myanmar Ambassador to Dhaka Aung Kyaw Moe for the fourth times in a month to hand over Dhaka’s protest note regarding the issue.